One of the most asked questions I get from clients during photo shoots is: How did you get started in photography?
When people ask me, I just tell them that my story really isn’t that cool compared to other photographers. I wasn’t the four year old prodigy developing film in my grandpas garage. I tell my clients I picked up photography, because I wanted to be able to take better pictures and it just grew from there. After getting asked the question again today, it bothered me that I didn’t know why I started photography. Reflecting back to when it all began in high school, I think I figured it out.
The reason I became a photographer is because I felt happier and I was able to meet new people. I had a Canon T1i and with it in my hands I had more confidence to meet people. I joined student council because a girl I liked wanted me to be a part of the club, yearbook because hey! I have a camera, and cross country because my parents made me (which turned out to be amazing). I didn’t have the courage to do all of those things without my camera.
Here is a photo of me in my awkward high school phase… and to be honest I don’t have many pictures of myself because I avoided pictures like I was trying to avoid the black plague.
Since I didn’t have clients I became obsessed with documenting everything. The more pictures I took and people I tagged on social media, the more they would follow my photography page. I wanted to feel like I was a part of the high school experience that was going on around me and I would take pictures to be seen. Then I would go home, upload it to Facebook, and at the time it seemed that people started talking to me more. Photography gave me something to do that made me feel included + better about myself and I finally had a social life though it. I wasn’t isolating myself at home playing computer games anymore or taking pictures of the plants around my house wishing I was doing something more adventurous with my time.
I began taking massive amounts of pictures of people on campus as soon as I got a DSLR and I started getting better each year going into college. Instead of just having a camera to make me feel secure in social situations, I started using it to create a business. The more I got to create, the more I started falling in love with this amazing craft. I went from taking random pictures of friends, to meeting hundreds of new clients. After people kept asking me how I became a photographer, I realized that I needed to take time to figure out where my business started, find out where I am right now, so that I can know where I am going in the future. Looking back the growth feels almost exponential and I am happy to be where I am today with photography. I feel like I am finally out of the beginning stages of my business and I have entered the professional photography world. So now I can talk your ear off if you ask me how I became a photographer.
Photo by: Trever Hoehne